BIVDA Comments on Autumn 2021 plans for Life Sciences and UK Diagnostics

October 27, 2021

BIVDA, the UK’s association for In Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) technology and innovation, responds to today’s Budget announcements, outlined in the House of Commons by Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

This Budget comes at a crucial moment regarding protecting the UK’s health service through the winter as it tackles backlogs and readies itself for future public health threats.

The Government must recognise the role of both the home-grown diagnostics industry from SME’s and larger companies operating in the UK in bolstering the NHS’s capacity for backlog reduction, providing data on COVID-19 test results and the new focus on community diagnostic care services which bring important health checks and detection methods to people on the ground. The IVD sector stands at the cusp on novel innovation, allowing for swifter and earlier diagnosis of disease using cutting-edge technologies. This is a key step in making the United Kingdom a science superpower. 

The Chancellor outlined a number of policies of interest and benefit to the UK IVD and life sciences sector, including a £5.9 billion package for NHS England to clear the care backlog, £5 billion for health-related R&D and an expansion of the new Community Diagnostic Centre network.

BIVDA CEO Doris-Ann Williams said:

“The backlog funding package will help the NHS to alleviate the heavy pressure being placed on the service as 5.7 million people await care. BIVDA’s IVD member companies stand ready to play their part in the diagnostic process.

It is essential that IVD companies of all sizes can access the R&D funding to develop novel diagnostics and bring them to market. The access to funding must be clearly signposted and we are pleased to see testing being brought closer to home in communities. This should reduce hospital visits with the number of centres increasing to achieve nationwide screening. The focus of further funding should be directed towards diagnostic testing in pathology, as well as imaging by radiology.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said in the Budget that investment in NHS capital funding will support an objective to deliver around 30% more elective activity by 2024-25 compared to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels. This cannot be realised without a robust and well-supported IVD sector. As set out in our Spending Review submission, the IVD sector requires a strong manufacturing base, talented workers, a focus on innovation and sustainability. BIVDA will continue to work with Government ministers, regulators and organisations in order to ensure these needs are met. 

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by Gwyn Tudor